Own leads Mullins attack
Willie Mullins saddled Hedgehunter to reward favourite-backers in the 2005 Grand National and On His Own heads this year's three-strong team.
The champion trainer was also responsible for Prince De Beauchene, who was ante-post favourite until suffering a season-ending setback, so his squad is completed now by last year's beaten favourite The Midnight Club and Quiscover Fontaine.
"On His Own is a huge, long-striding horse and he'll like this drying ground. He's been working well, he'd been working well alongside Prince De Beauchene all the time. A lot of people probably had Prince De Beauchene on their radar, but this fellow's homework has been very good," said Mullins.
"The Midnight Club made a bad mistake at the third fence here last year and it just upset him for the rest of the race, but he still finished sixth. If he gets into a rhythm early on, I don't think the trip will be any trouble to him. However, he just hasn't returned to form this year yet and I'm hoping that breathing in some Aintree air will revitalise him.
"Quiscover Fontaine ran a terrific race in the Irish Grand National last year and we haven't run him over fences since, but he's done plenty of schooling. He stays well I think and if he takes to the Aintree fences, he wouldn't be out of it either."
Ruby Walsh, who rides On His Own, was spoilt for choice, having had the options of Seabass, the Mullins-trained trio and Paul Nicholls' Neptune Collonges. He believes Gold Cup hero Sychronised could prove the toughest nut to crack.
"I think Synchronised is the one to beat. He's 7lb well-in and if he jumps quick enough he's the one we have to beat, but the National is the National, it could be all over at the first," Walsh told Racing UK.
"Of Willie's three, I rode The Midnight Club last year and he doesn't seem in as good a form this year, Quiscover Fontaine is very unexposed, Paul Nicholls is very keen on Neptune Collonges and he is a Grade One winner and I could have ridden Seabass for my dad.
"On His Own is eight years of age, he has a good weight on his back in 10st 11lb and it was a good performance in the Thyestes so he's the one I plumped for. I'm looking forward to it, and a drop of rain will suit. Seabass has his chance, but I'd be worried about him getting the trip."